By Brian Keogh
Amateur legend Joe Carr notched yet another first when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Sutton genius became the first Irishman to join the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player in the pantheon of golfing greats.
Close pal Player was at Carnoustie for the announcement and recalled dozens of matches he had with the most famous Irish amateur golfer of all time - as well as a few bets.
He said: "What a striker of the ball he was. If Joe Carr could have putted well, there's no telling what he might have done.
"In spite of his great record he might even have won the Open.
"Who won the money matches? The right man. And you can take that two ways. Have you ever seen an Irishman pay a bet?"
Carr, who died three years ago, was selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category alongside Australia's Kel Nagle for a career that saw him win three British Amateur titles and 37 Irish championships.
He was the first Irishman to tee it up in the Masters in 1967 and also racked up a record 10 Walker Cup appearances.
He was also the first Irishman to captain the R&A and the GB&I Walker Cup team.
Player added: "He was as fine an amateur as I ever saw. Big, strong, hit the ball a long way, great swing, could play in all types of conditions. But he had a great personality.
"You don't become captain of the R&A unless you are a very special person and I think that's self-explanatory.
"Ireland is a very special place for golf with all those great golf courses. His entire family must be feeling very, very proud to knwo that he is the first Irishman to join the Hall of Fame."
His son Roddy said: "He would have loved this."
In 1959, he came within a whisker of beating a field of professionals in the Dunlop Masters at Portmarnock but came second to Christy O'Connor Snr.
He was also tied for the lead in 1960 British Open at St Andrews until a storm led to the cancellation of a final round that he had started 3-4-4.